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Thyolo Stadium construction delays

STEADY PROGRESS?—Officials inspecting the facility on Thursday

The construction of Thyolo Stadium is still facing hitches, with the latest hiccup being the Covid-19 pandemic.

Dec Construction, which was hired to construct the new stadium in January 2018, said progress was slow because of different reasons including land squabbles.

“Firstly we had to break as a result of an injunction over the ownership of part of the land when a certain company sued Thyolo District Assembly. That negatively affected the progress of our work as the issue was in court. We also changed our consultant after recommendations,” said Dec’s Projects Manager Elland Malonda.

Initially the project was expected to be completed by June last year.

Malonda also said they had reduced workers from 100 to 40 as a safety measure against coronavirus outbreak.

“We have scaled down our staff to 40 and we can’t perform as we used to when we had 100 members of staff. Of course before we trimmed our staff some of the workers were also absconding from work as they developed fear over coronavirus,” he said.

Meanwhile, Malonda said the company was trying its best to complete the project by August this year as stipulated in the contract.

Minister of Transport and Public Works Ralph Jooma, who inspected the project on Thursday, said he was satisfied with the progress of the facility.

Jooma specifically hailed the contractor for putting in place safety measures against Covid-19.

“I specifically came here to check three things, among others, to see whether issues to do with social distance, scale down of staff and all other precautionary measures are being adhered to,” he said.

Jooma said work at the site was progressing steadily as most of the materials had been bought locally.

Thyolo Stadium will have a smooth playing ground, running track, open and VIP stands among others.

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